Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan Writes To States Amid Covid Surge In Asia, Europe, Says Don’t Let Guard Down

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'Don't Let Guard Down': Centre To States Amid Covid Surge In Asia, Europe

The government had released guidelines for graded resumption of economic activities on February 25.

New Delhi:

Amid a resurgence of Covid cases across Southeast Asia and Europe, the government on Thursday warned states not to let their guard down and advised them to continue focus on the five-fold strategy of “test, track, treat, follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccinate” while resuming economic and social activities in their jurisdiction.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in his letter to all states and union territories, also asked them to ensure adequate testing of samples to ensure timely detection of new variants and also to motivate people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“States should also ensure that adequate number of samples are submitted to INSACOG network through Sentinel sites as per the protocol issued by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is the Nodal Agency for INSACOG, to ensure timely detection of new variants while maintaining adequate testing as per the protocols for testing laid by ICMR. Effective surveillance by monitoring of emerging clusters of new cases, if any, testing as per norms and monitoring of ILI and SARI cases shall be taken up on a continued basis to ensure no early warning signals are missed and spread of infection can be controlled,” Mr Bhushan said in the letter.

The state should create required awareness and ensure adherence to COVID Appropriate Behavior, like wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distancing in all public areas/gatherings and practice of effective hand & respiratory hygiene, it said.

The government had released guidelines for graded resumption of economic activities on February 25 wherein the states were guided to resume the economic activities duly analyzing the local epidemiological situation (including positivity rates and bed occupancy), to decide on the relaxation/restriction measure.

With a spike in COVID-19 cases across Southeast Asia and some countries of Europe, a high-level meeting was chaired by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on March 16 where the states were advised to focus on aggressive genome sequencing, intensified surveillance and overall vigil on the Covid situation, Mr Bhushan said in the letter.

India is seeing a steady decline in Covid Cases, with daily cases now below 5,000 mark.

This morning, the country added 2,528 new infections, taking the tally to 4,30,04,005.

The count of active cases fell has dropped to 29,181 – the numbers fell below 30,000 after around 685 days, according to the Union Health Ministry on Friday.

The death count due to the disease has climbed to 5,16,281 with 149 daily fatalities being recorded, data updated by the ministry at 8 am showed.

The last 24 hours saw a total of 6,33,867 COVID-19 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted over 78.18 crore tests for the disease.

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